A Big Thing Happened in Architecture
A big thing happened in the world of Architecture last week, it wasn’t the grand unveiling of a seminal piece of architecture, nor was it the announcement of a new International architectural award, it was instead the announcement of the new RIBA President. The RIBA is the most well regarded and indeed oldest Institute of Architecture in the World and the announcement of a new President does indeed create subtle ripples in the Architectural world.
Alan Jones was elected the President designate, winning just over 51% of votes and generating more than a thousand votes of support above the next candidate. Jones will be stepping into take over Ben Derbyshire from 1 September 2019 for a two-year presidential term, taking us into the second decade of the new Millenia as the 77th President.
Jones is a charming easy going Northern Irish architect and Senior Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast. He is modest, erudite has a sense of fun and most importantly can communicate.
“I appreciate respect is not given lightly and must be earned. I am hugely grateful for the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Ben Derbyshire and past presidents, people who I have huge respect for.”
Jones recognises that there are some great assets within the institute, for example the RIBA is considered as a global leader in CPD and other institutes not just of architecture but other professions learn from the RIBA, there are also numerous workshops such as Guerilla Tactics, specialist supported courses, out-reach programmes into the community and schools and whole host of exhibitions, assistance programmes for students, not to mention if you go to China perhaps the most vibrant economy in the world a highlight in their design calendar is the RIBA’s display of young UK talent in their window display exhibition, indeed the list goes on. Jones knows this and isn’t looking to reinvent the Institute just shout about them more and make them accessible, sharing the benefits of this Institute to its members and the extended circle.
“The RIBA is a fantastic organisation with great resources, particularly its staff who I am keen to support more than ever.”
The golden ticket for Jones looking into the future is surely to ensure that those members around the country from Pinner to Penzance feel included in their institute and this may be through a greater online presence, along with looking after the role and future purpose of the Architect in a Brexit world with all that entails.
The RIBA has also announced the results of the RIBA Council whose role will all commence on 1 September 2018.
The candidates are:
Jo Bacon – National
Elsie Owusu – National
Valeria Passetti – East Midlands
Graham Boyce – Yorkshire
Tim Clark – Europe International (excluding UK)
The Regional Council Members:
Nicky Watson – North East
Ewen Miller – North West
Richard Wooldridge – North West
Ian Standen – Wales